Rockin & Talkin – February is be kind to your heart month

Zee Chevalier's monthly column from the Clinton Seniors Association.

I want to share this little poem with you. It’s framed and hangs above my desk and I read it often. The message is timely and inspirational. It is written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox and is titled Worth While.

It is easy enough to be pleasant,

When life flows by like a song,

But the man worth while is the man who will smile,

when everything goes dead wrong.

For the test of the heart is trouble,

And it always comes with the years,

And the smile that is worth the praises of earth,

Is the smile that shines through tears.

I suppose that you could search the Internet and find that every day in February was a designated day for something somewhere in the world. In Canada we recognize Groundhog Day on the 2nd, Family Day on the 10th, St. Valentine’s Day on the 14th and National Flag Day on the 15th. I prefer to focus on a very important subject for February. February is Heart Disease Awareness Month. Every day is designated to increasing our awareness of this disease that along with stroke claims a life every seven minutes according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Since 1954 cardiovascular mortality has decreased over 75 per cent and over the past decade alone has decreased nearly 40 per cent. This was made possible by advances in research. Researchers are working tirelessly to find important breakthroughs in the fight against this terrible disease.

What can you do to avoid becoming a statistic?

Assess your lifestyle, and where it’s warranted work hard to make the necessary changes. Right now you can strengthen and protect your heart through diet, sleep, fitness and more. By simply leading a healthier life, you can get a healthier heart. Even small, steady changes in your life style mean a stronger, more efficient heart. Studies in Canada and the US have shown that people who eat lots of veggies, fruit, whole grains, fish and legumes, drink moderate amounts of alcohol, cut back on salt, exercise, maintain a healthy weight and don’t smoke have a huge decreased risk of having a heart attack compared to those with less healthy diets and habits.

A bonus  –  so many things we do to help our heart, like quitting smoking, eating more fibre, moving more, also help other parts of our body, including our bones, colon, lungs and skin.

Since February is Heart Disease Awareness Month, this is the perfect time to start improving your heart  –  and the rest of you.

Clinton Seniors Association welcomes new members. Meetings are every third Thursday of the month at the Clinton Seniors Centre (217 Smith Ave.) following noon lunch of soup, sandwiches and cake.  September and June are Potluck. The Association has activities, guest speakers and trips as appropriate.  There are three major fundraisers a year. The Daffodil Tea is in March, The Yard /Book and Bake Sale is July 1 and the Marketplace is in November. There are no meetings  in July and August and the December meeting is replaced by a Christmas Dinner Party. Fees are $15 annually.

Happy Birthday to Ann Trembath on Feb. 21 and to Isabel Haining on Feb. 27.

“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.”  Henry David Thoreau

Zee Chevalier

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